With the recent measles outbreak, many people are questioning whether or not they are at risk of contracting this disease. This question is extremely important to both pregnant women and for women who may soon become pregnant.
If you and your partner are thinking about trying for a baby, now is the perfect time to make sure you’re up to date on all your vaccines. Though most are completely fine to receive while pregnant, there are other vaccinations that could potentially cause problems during pregnancy and should not be administered once you’re expecting.
The most important vaccines to receive before pregnancy
If you’re unsure if you’ve received all proper vaccinations, your first step is to visit your doctor. If you’re found to be non-immune to the diseases below, these vaccinations should be given at least 4 weeks prior to pregnancy:
Measles. We’ve heard about it in the news lately, and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is one of the few vaccines that should not be administered during pregnancy.
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, documentation of at least one dose of MMR is sufficient to assume immunity to measles. When no documentation is available, laboratory evidence of immunity via measles-specific IgG antibody, or titer test, is acceptable evidence of immunity.
Keep in mind, after receiving the MMR vaccine, women should wait 4 weeks before attempting to get pregnant to ensure the live vaccine poses no risks to the fetus.
Varicella. Because the Varicella vaccine contains the live attenuated virus, it should not be administered during pregnancy. Nonimmune women should receive two doses one month apart. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, pregnancy should be avoided for one month after receiving the last dose.
The vaccinations below should be completed before but can be administered during pregnancy.
Influenza. Although it’s recommended that everyone receive the influenza vaccination each year, preferably between October and November, the inactivated influenza vaccine is safe to receive any time during pregnancy.
Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap) and Tetanus-Diphtheria (Td). With the recent increase in pertussis outbreaks, or what’s better known as whooping cough, it’s recommended that Tdap be given prior to pregnancy or during the late second or third trimester. Not only have these vaccinations been proven to be safe during pregnancy, but they’ve shown to provide protection for your baby during those early months of life.
Since not all vaccines are safe during pregnancy, it’s important to take action now in order to protect you and your child from these preventable diseases. If you’re looking forward to pregnancy in the near future, it’s time to ensure you’re giving yourself and your future baby the best possible chance of being happy and healthy!
Learn more about immunizations before pregnancy from Alabama Fertility in Birmingham, AL
At Alabama Fertility Specialists, we treat all patients with the care and compassion that complex reproductive issues require. We encourage you to ask your doctors and nurses at Alabama Fertility Specialists as many questions as you need to in order to find out more.